It happened in those days, when there was no king in Israel, that there was a certain Levite sojourning on the farther side of the hill country of Ephraim, who took to him a concubine out of Bethlehem Judah.
His concubine played the prostitute against him, and went away from him to her father''s house to Bethlehem Judah, and was there the space of four months.
Her husband arose, and went after her, to speak kindly to her, to bring her again, having his servant with him, and a couple of donkeys: and she brought him into her father''s house; and when the father of the young lady saw him, he rejoiced to meet him.
His father-in-law, the young lady''s father, retained him; and he abode with him three days: so they ate and drink, and lodged there.
It happened on the fourth day, that they arose early in the morning, and he rose up to depart: and the young lady''s father said to his son-in-law, Strengthen your heart with a morsel of bread, and afterward you shall go your way.
So they sat down, ate, and drank, both of them together: and the young lady''s father said to the man, Please be pleased to stay all night, and let your heart be merry.
The man rose up to depart; but his father-in-law urged him, and he lodged there again.
He arose early in the morning on the fifth day to depart; and the young lady''s father said, Please strengthen your heart and stay until the day declines; and they ate, both of them.
When the man rose up to depart, he, and his concubine, and his servant, his father-in-law, the young lady''s father, said to him, Behold, now the day draws toward evening, please stay all night: behold, the day grows to an end, lodge here, that your heart may be merry; and tomorrow get you early on your way, that you may go home.
But the man wouldn''t stay that night, but he rose up and departed, and came over against Jebus (the same is Jerusalem): and there were with him a couple of donkeys saddled; his concubine also was with him.
When they were by Jebus, the day was far spent; and the servant said to his master, Please come and let us turn aside into this city of the Jebusites, and lodge in it.
His master said to him, We won''t turn aside into the city of a foreigner, that is not of the children of Israel; but we will pass over to Gibeah.
He said to his servant, Come and let us draw near to one of these places; and we will lodge in Gibeah, or in Ramah.
So they passed on and went their way; and the sun went down on them near to Gibeah, which belongs to Benjamin.
They turned aside there, to go in to lodge in Gibeah: and he went in, and sat him down in the street of the city; for there was no man who took them into his house to lodge.
Behold, there came an old man from his work out of the field at even: now the man was of the hill country of Ephraim, and he sojourned in Gibeah; but the men of the place were Benjamites.
He lifted up his eyes, and saw the wayfaring man in the street of the city; and the old man said, Where go you? and whence come you?
He said to him, We are passing from Bethlehem Judah to the farther side of the hill country of Ephraim; from there am I, and I went to Bethlehem Judah: and I am [now] going to the house of Yahweh; and there is no man who takes me into his house.
Yet there is both straw and provender for our donkeys; and there is bread and wine also for me, and for your handmaid, and for the young man who is with your servants: there is no want of anything.
The old man said, Peace be to you; howsoever let all your wants lie on me; only don''t lodge in the street.
So he brought him into his house, and gave the donkeys fodder; and they washed their feet, and ate and drink.
As they were making their hearts merry, behold, the men of the city, certain base fellows, beset the house round about, beating at the door; and they spoke to the master of the house, the old man, saying, Bring forth the man who came into your house, that we may know him.
The man, the master of the house, went out to them, and said to them, No, my brothers, please don''t act so wickedly; seeing that this man is come into my house, don''t do this folly.
Behold, here is my daughter a virgin, and his concubine; them I will bring out now, and humble you them, and do with them what seems good to you: but to this man don''t do any such folly.
But the men wouldn''t listen to him: so the man laid hold on his concubine, and brought her forth to them; and they knew her, and abused her all the night until the morning: and when the day began to spring, they let her go.
Then came the woman in the dawning of the day, and fell down at the door of the man''s house where her lord was, until it was light.
Her lord rose up in the morning, and opened the doors of the house, and went out to go his way; and behold, the woman his concubine was fallen down at the door of the house, with her hands on the threshold.
He said to her, Up, and let us be going; but none answered: then he took her up on the donkey; and the man rose up, and got him to his place.
When he was come into his house, he took a knife, and laid hold on his concubine, and divided her, limb by limb, into twelve pieces, and sent her throughout all the borders of Israel.
It was so, that all who saw it said, There was no such deed done nor seen from the day that the children of Israel came up out of the land of Egypt to this day: consider it, take counsel, and speak.